Park School graduate Noah Hutchins isn’t just heading to prep school for the coming season.
The Allen Wilson Buffalo News Boys Basketball Player of the Year intends to play for defending national champion IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Hutchins, a four-year starter who led Park to the 2018 state federation crown as overall champion of New York, averaged 20.6 points, 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in helping the Pioneers win their second consecutive Manhattan Cup and state Class A Catholic championship.
Hutchins increased his points per game production by 7.5 and helped Park return to the Federation Tournament, where they lost to eventual champion Albany Academy in the semifinals, even though he battled torn ligaments in his feet and a partial groin tear.
Though Hutchins had a fine season, those who have watched him play for years knew he wasn’t 100 percent. There were no thunderous dunks off transition plays, a staple of his game since he was a sophomore.
Even though Hutchins has more than 20 scholarship offers, he believes taking an extra year and playing for a prep school will aid in his development.
“It just seemed like more of a great opportunity now,” Hutchins said. “This gives me more time to find the right college for me.
“The training facility will help me become faster and stronger. Being at IMG, all of the (Division I) schools come and watch you play, workout so they can see what you can do.”
Hutchins has offers from wide array of schools -- including Penn State, Wake Forest, Temple, Buffalo, George Washington and Columbia. He has yet to make an official college visit.
“Nothing’s guaranteed,” Hutchins said. “You have to work for your spot.”